Oh my god, the last fortnight has been hell. J and I are looking to move to Yorkshire and the housing market in the north of England is currently the worst I have ever seen despite my 42 years of living down south.
When I say that, I mean I have moved home 35 times in my life and probably at least 15 of those were renting my own flat in London or Kent. Insanity details:
- Being asked to do a nine hour round trip in two foot of snow so the owner of the property can meet us, in person only, and decide if he wants us to live on his grounds*
- Finding a great place and doing a virtual viewing only to be told the landlord ‘is nervous’ rent to someone who hasn’t seen the property
Pretty sure those two are breaking Covid laws btw.
Let’s take a pause to consider the circumstances.
J works in an industry that is currently booming, has been in his job for 6 years and is likely to get a 30% pay rise over the next year. We also have 17k in savings.
The properties we are looking at are between 13 and 18 % of our net income. In London, the last time I rented a flat, they didn’t like it it if your rent was more than 33% and would require a guarantor: a person who owns their own home who is legally responsible for paying your rent if you can’t pay. They can and will take that person to court and make them remortgage or sell their house to pay your overdue rent.
Not only are they limited by the government in viewing numbers, especially in-person ones, but most of the good ones are going within days.
Hurrah for the North! Fuck Thatcher for taking all the money out of the North and the desperate inequality and lack of investment. I am pleased to see this turn of events for the North.
- Please fill out our application form before we send you a link to our virtual video (not even asking for a live video tour, this shit is automated) and then
- As above but please make sure you include a pdf file of your current credit rating
And the icing on the cake:
- All our rental properties require a guarantor. ‘But this is teeny percent of our income.’ Sorry, no, guarantor or you cannot rent anything from us. Not even poverty lodgings.
So this is part whinge part warning. If you live north of the Watford gap and are planning to move any time over the next year, you may have to do a lot of work. People are leaving the SE in droves after their employees have finally conceded that being locked to a London desk so you can be ‘seen’ is outdated, expensive for them, and simply not necessary in the era of super-fast broadband.
A few times I have had a ‘fuck you mum for not dying earlier!’ Outbursts. We would have moved ages ago if the stubborn mare had not hung on until she was three an a half stone.
(She would laugh at this post)
What’s your current massive pain in the arse?
*it was a Manor House, a house within the grounds, and a tiny manor house at that